Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Acherontia atropos
(death's head hawkmoth)



Acherontia atropos (death's head hawkmoth)


  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acherontia atropos
  • Preferred Common Name
  • death's head hawkmoth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acherontia atropos Linnaeus

Preferred Common Name

  • death's head hawkmoth

Other Scientific Names

  • Acherontia sculda Kirby, 1877
  • Atropos solani Oken, 1815
  • Sphinx atropos Linnaeus

International Common Names

  • English: death's head moth
  • Spanish: aqueronica; cabeza de muerto; calavera; esfinge de la calavera; esfinge de la muerta
  • French: sphinx à tête de mort
  • Russian: Mertvaya Golova

Local Common Names

  • Czechoslovakia (former): Smrtihlav obecny
  • Germany: Totenkopf; Totenkopfschwärmer
  • Hungary: halálfejes lepke
  • Italy: Farfalla testa di morto; Sfinge testa di morto
  • Netherlands: doodshoofdpijlstaart; doodshoofdvlinder; doodskopvlinder
  • Sweden: Dödskalle-Svärmare

EPPO code

  • ACHEAT (Acherontia atropos)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Sphingidae
  •                             Genus: Acherontia
  •                                 Species: Acherontia atropos

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020

Distribution References

CABI Data Mining, Undated. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Amblyjoppa fuscipennis Parasite Larvae
Amblyjoppa proteus Parasite Larvae
Blepharipa pratensis Parasite Larvae
Callajoppa cirrogaster Parasite Larvae
Callajoppa exaltatoria Parasite Larvae
Compsilura concinnata Parasite Larvae
Diphyus palliatorius Parasite Larvae
Ichneumon cerinthius Parasite Larvae
Lydella stabulans Parasite Larvae
Masicera pavoniae Parasite Larvae
Masicera sphingivora Parasite Larvae
Panzeria rudis Parasite Larvae
Sturmia bella Parasite Larvae
Thelyconychia solivaga Parasite Larvae
Winthemia cruentata Parasite Larvae
Winthemia rufiventris Parasite Larvae
Zygobothria atropivora Parasite Larvae

Distribution Maps

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